and Deciduous Forest Trees
of Southern Ontario

Balsam Poplar
Populus Balsamifera

Location in Ontario: Balsam Poplar grows throughout Ontario.

Balsam Poplar, Norfolk County

Genus Populus: Poplars are fast growing trees with soft wood. The leaves are simple. Flowers are mostly dioecious and appear in early spring. Poplars are pioneer species which grow in a newly opened areas such as after a fire or when land is cleared. Some are successional trees along sand dunes.

Habitat: Balsam Poplar are found along streams and river valleys.

Landscape Use: Balsam Poplars are not commonly found as a landscape tree.

The leaves are simple with fine teeth.


Flowers: Balsam Poplar is dioecious, with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers occurring on different trees. Flowers are in catkins, and appear in the early spring. Seeds are produced after 8 to 10 years, and occur every year.

Fruit: The seeds are found in long catkins produced in the late spring.

Bark: The bark is gray with scaly ridges.

Size: Balsam Poplar is a medium sized tree.

Wood: Balsam Poplar wood is light and soft.
Specific gravity: 0.34
Janka Hardness:
300 lb
Wood Comparison Chart

TREE FACT: Balsam Poplar has the softest wood of any tree in Southern Ontario.

Balsam Poplar, Norfolk County